Switchable (remote vs switch) in wall controllers that look like switches?

I would like a thing on the wall that looks like a switch that normally talks to the hub (functioning as a remote) and doesn’t normally do any actual switching. I’ll buy hue bulbs or put relays in my fixtures for the actual switching. BUT, if the automation hub goes down, or in an emergency, it would be nice to ALSO have a physical switching system in the same box/device. I saw one on the Internet somewhere that had a little pull tab designed for maintenance situations, so you could physically cut the power to the fixture if you wanted. That tab could be used to reset the hue lights. But I can’t find that switch/remote anymore.

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Start with the short FAQ and follow the links in that thread for several possibilities:

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I already bought the solution to my own problem! I bought it a couple of weeks ago, but I can’t implement it in my old house where I wanted to implement it, because I don’t have a neutral. I’ll install it in my upgraded kitchen, to make sure it works, and report back. If it works I’ll probably implement it in my new basement construction.

The solution is the vision z-wave in wall relay module . It mounts behind the existing switch, and turns the existing switch into a relay toggle. As far as I can tell from reading other’s reports, it should enable manual control of the light from the switch even if the SmartThings hub is down (the faceplate switch just toggles the relay behind it, even when the relay has no z-wave connection.)

In wall micros are good devices, but they don’t match the description you gave in your first post as they do themselves control the current to the fixture. For that reason they should not be used in combination with smart bulbs of any kind.

The micros are really functionally exactly the same thing as using a regular networked switch that controls the load in that position.

If they will work for you, that’s good, but don’t use them with smart bulbs.

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Yes you are right @JDRoberts I’m confusing myself. I have an electrical engineering degree so generally have no problem with the technical side, but I can’t keep my own needs and use cases straight!

I was leaning towards smart switches and dumb bulbs, but had a look at the hue white spectrum bulb on demo at the Apple Store today and man they’re nice.

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Yep, if you want color changing lights, color temperature changing lights, or you have multiple lights on one switch and you want to create zones, then smart bulbs give you features that smart switches cannot. Or of course if you need a solution that won’t require any wiring.

For just regular room lighting without zones, smart switches are often easier and maybe less expensive. And in wall micros are just a smart switch variation.

If you really want a wall switch to go with smart bulbs, see the FAQ I linked to above. :sunglasses: